US stocks rise; Apple up on dividend announcement

US stocks up slightly after last week's rally; Apple announces a dividend; UPS delivers a deal

Associated Press
US stocks drift higher but can't match last week
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In this March 13, 2012 photo, Gordon Charlop, right, works with fellow traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. World stock markets were mixed Monday, March 19, 2012 as doubts about Greece's ability to follow through with tough economic reforms required under an international bailout overtook good news about the U.S. economy. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stocks are closing higher, but it's a lackluster performance compared with last week, the best of the year for the market.

The Dow Jones industrial average is ending up six and a half points at 13,239. The Standard & Poor's 500 is closing up six points at 1,410. The Nasdaq composite index is up 23 points at 3,078.

In the absence of major economic data, company news dominated the market. Apple stock rose almost 3 percent after the company announced it would start paying a quarterly dividend to shareholders.

Advancing stocks outnumbered decliners by about 3-to-2. Volume was lighter than average at 3.9 billion shares.

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